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Creating An Effective Message

Your company’s message must engage its target audience.  After you’ve identified and categorized your audience(s), we recommend that you:

A)    Follow the Seven-Word Rule

People may see your message without reading every word.  Most people can scan seven words in a single glance.

Using everyday words, write a single message to provide direction or information or one good reason why your audience should buy your product or service.  Boil it all down to one sentence or a few words.

Review your message to make sure it is clear and concise. Concise writing is tough.  Put each word or phrase on trial.  Is it really needed?

B)    Sell Benefits – Not Features

In marketing, businesses often promote only features and not the associated benefits.

When ivory soap was first released, the manufactures asked two writers to create and ad which touted that the soap floated in water.  One described the chemical properties which enable it to stay afloat. The manufactures chose the other writer’s ad copy which simply stated: “It Floats!”

C)    Avoid Clichés

Clichés like “New and Improved” and “One-of-a-kind opportunity!” are ignored or considered unbelievable.

Think of a unique way to state your message, such as:

  • “Custom eyeglasses in one hour”
  • “If you’re big and tall, we have your size”
  • “Delivered in thirty minutes, or it’s free!”

D)    Choose Appropriate Typefaces

Select a typeface that fits the message and design.  Don’t give up legibility for decoration.  Special effects, such as shadowing or color combinations, can enhance most typefaces.

E)    Create Visual Impact

It’s a good idea to sketch your sign or banner on a 3”x5” card first.  Select interesting graphic details that reinforce your message.  If it’s confusing on the card, it won’t give you the visual impact you want even when it’s produced on a larger scale.

F)    Critique Your Design

In the design phase, ask yourself what information or graphic can be removed without loss of impact.

G)    Be Observant

When you travel, take note of the banners and billboards that attract attention.  Try to discern why you can absorb these messages in a glance.